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Feb 27, 2020 10:04 PM
Enter all ye who seek knowledge
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"Yes. Well. A portal into hell."

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...that wasn't in the brochure.

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"I- yes. See, that's why you have us. Look- do you want a hug?"

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"...yes please."

She didn't sign up for this, she already ruined her life -- her families life. Merrick died. And now she lives on a portal to hell. This was supposed to be a Normal Town with she was supposed to have Normal Teenage Problems.

Not... this.

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He hugs like someone with a lot of experience with giving comforting hugs. "We're here to help, in any way we can, and we know this isn't fair. And I'm sorry."

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She holds tight.

"I thought it was over."

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"I'm sorry it isn't," Talia says quietly. "I- if you need time, that's- okay." (Her voice is a little strained.) "The important thing is you surviving and being okay."

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"People are dying and... Merrick said I was the only one that could help them."

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"-Oh. I'm sorry for your loss. I should've- said that straight away. I'm sorry. He wasn't entirely wrong," Henri says carefully. "And...I'm not sure whether he told you quite how...decimated our ranks, that is, the Watchers have become?"

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"He didn't tell me much. We only had two weeks together before Lothos killed him."

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"-I really am sorry. He should've been with you for longer. You shouldn't have to change Watchers."

Pause. "Unfortunately, we are...somewhat low in numbers. A prior Slayer was...Turned. It didn't end well for the Council. There's only a handful of us left."

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"An overhaul of the Council system was needed, but not like this."

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"Is she dead? Is she here?"

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"We're- not sure. She isn't here, we can tell you that much. There's been no report of her death, but there's been two Slayers since then. The first a Watcher was sent, and supposedly made contact, but then he stopped reporting, and she completely vanished. And the Slayer before you vanished completely after her parents were killed - her parents were Watchers themselves. But it was a little over two years before you were Called, so we can only assume she survived that long. Or we let down too many Slayers..."

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"Do you think she had anything to do with their deaths?"

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"It's hard to tell with Ms Lehane, we have no bodies, but Ms Gothenburg's parents were...rather badly mutilated. We suspected it was Wyatt, but there was no true evidence."

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"My mom didn't believe me when I told her I was the Slayer. She had me committed. She's not going to believe me about this. Is there anything we can do to protect her?"

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"Hm. There's a few tricks Watchers use, but that tends to involve us being aware of them. I'm sure there's something else we can manage. The easiest thing I suppose: is your mother likely to wear a crucifix?"

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"Maybe if I bought it for her? She's never really been religious."

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"Well, we can start there, and I'll look into other ways that aren't as reliant on religious jewellery."

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"We'll figure something out," Henri promises. "We're good at that."

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"Okay. Okay." She takes a deep breath. "Thank you."

She still a little shaky but... they seem really confident and she doesn't actually have another choice but to trust them.

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"We're here if you need anything," Henri adds, giving her a gentle squeeze. "Even if it's just a hug, okay?"

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"Did you take a class in hugging at Watcher school?"

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"Nah, that was all Mama and Dad."

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